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Not just a celebrity vet

by David Cole
| April 25, 2010 9:00 PM

COEUR d’ALENE — Dr. Marty Becker, veterinary contributor to ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” and resident veterinarian on “The Dr. Oz Show,” had his first day on the job at the Lakewood Animal Hospital here on Saturday.

“I’d like to work here as much as I can, but my schedule will probably allow only a couple times per month,” Becker said Saturday.

Becker said he’ll also be working about one day per month at North Idaho Animal Hospital in Sandpoint.

“I don’t just play a vet on TV,” he said.

Becker has a number of connections to the area and state, including owning a ranch about 17 miles north of Bonners Ferry, and he is a graduate of Washington State University. His wife, Teresa, is a North Idaho native. Also, he practiced for 16 years in Twin Falls.

Becker, an author and syndicated columnist, including for Parade magazine, said he wanted to work at Lakewood after boarding his own pets there late last year.

Becker liked the building inside and out, the cleanliness, the high tech equipment, and the staff. The hospital is located at 272 W. Hanley Ave.

“I’ve been in over a thousand veterinary hospitals, and I’ve been in award-winning veterinary hospitals, some of the top ones in the United States,” he said. “But when I walked in Lakewood my jaw literally dropped.”

Dr. Bruce King, owner of Lakewood Animal Hospital, said, “(Becker) is a very well respected person in the profession. He has been very influential in creating awareness that there is so much more you can do for animals today than you used to be able to.”

Lakewood opened in 2004, and it has 3,000 active patients, King said. It employs seven people.

Becker said another reason why he has decided to work there is because of the rapport that exists between King and his staff and the patients and their owners.

“The animals are treated like the owner is always standing right there watching,” Becker said.

He said that although he has 30 years of experience, he still wants to get back into a hospital regularly to work with animals and their owners.

“It gives authenticity to my voice,” he said. “I’m really excited to learn from Dr. King so I can sharpen my own skills.”

King said, “We’ve developed a real friendship. We have a very similar outlook on the importance of a pet.”

Becker said he has always loved the North Idaho area.

“I’ve been in almost 80 countries, and I’ve been in 40 of the 50 states,” he said. “There’s a special feeling up here.”

He said a schedule will be set up for when he’ll be working at the Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint veterinary hospitals.

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